Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Darktown by Thomas Mullen

Atria Books

It's a very different story from what I'm used to read. Here, no disillusioned main character who fights his demons to succeed in his investigation but two Afro-American cops who are fighting the system to bring justice. 

The social dimension is really great and interesting and if you liked Dennis Lehanne's "The Given Day", this book is for you! 

You'll follow the political stakes at the dawn of major changes in the country, the injustices of segregation, the various mentalities, between elementary racists and progressives. 

Between Dunlow, the hateful cop, for whom the life of a black man is not a subject, protected by his colleagues, who embodies a "traditional" way of seeing the place of everyone that nobody wants to reconsider and Rakestraw, who realizes the injustices but hesitates to take sides not to be alone in front of his colleagues and also because the system in place is comfortable when the challenge brings a novelty that can be scary. 

Boggs and Smith also have two different ways of approaching their difficulties, one wants to rebel, the other play with the system. Who is right, who is wrong... and can they investigate without Rakestraw's help? How to conduct an investigation without risking their life despite all the injustice and hostility?

In a nutshell

A very good story, a beautiful social Lehanne's style saga and a well-crafted story.

What's the story ?

Responding to orders from on high, the Atlanta Police Department is forced to hire its first black officers, including war veterans Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers; they aren’t allowed to arrest white suspects, drive squad cars, or set foot in the police headquarters.

When a black woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up dead, Boggs and Smith suspect white cops are behind it. Their investigation sets them up against a brutal cop, Dunlow, who has long run the neighborhood as his own, and his partner, Rakestraw, a young progressive who may or may not be willing to make allies across color lines. Among shady moonshiners, duplicitous madams, crooked lawmen, and the constant restrictions of Jim Crow, Boggs and Smith will risk their new jobs, and their lives, while navigating a dangerous world—a world on the cusp of great change.

Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to me by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.

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